Thursday, May 22, 2014

Tenure Wins The Day?

Yesterday, the U of Saskatchewan Provost quit.  Today, its president, Ilene Busch-Vishniac, was fired by the Board of Governors.  And Robert Buckingham can return to his tenured job.  Does this mean that tenure wins the day, that academic freedom is treasured not just by professors but even by the Premier (equivlent of a governor of a state) of the province?

Maybe.  Or maybe it is just that the board and the Premier realized that bad press is bad press, that there is such a thing as bad publicity.  Or maybe just that they understood that the President lost the ability to do her job because she no longer has credibility in the aftermath of this fiasco. Or perhaps these folks simply realized that having amateurs at the university's wheel is a bad idea.

Lots of lessons to be learned here, and the protection of academic freedom may be one of them.  I am not sure, but the response is suggestive and people will infer that the board, the Premier, the press and the public all seem to share the view that professors should not lose tenure because they criticize the administration.  If only Kansas equivalents had similar views....

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